By Fortune Eromosele — Abuja
National Chairman of the African Democratic Congress, Chief Ralph Okey Nwosu, has called in the federal government to declare a state of emergency on the prevailing Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU strike.
Nwosu made the call in a statement signed and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday.
Chief Ralph Nwosu expressed extreme disgust over the unresolved dispute between the Federal Government of Nigeria and ASUU.
“Education is at the soul of any national development and the youth hold the ace in economic, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship to move any nation from anywhere it may be on the ladder to gain speed and move up. So, one wonders why the government holds education and youths development in such great contempt,” Nwosu stated.
He added that the ASUU strike is largely responsible for the upsurge in crime rate, stressing that it is morally wrong for students to remain at home.
He said, “How else would a leader or government explain that since February 14 this year, students in public universities have been at home, as academic activities have been put on hold following the strike by members of ASUU.
“It is equally unfortunate to note that other staff unions in the university sector have also joined the wagon of embarking on industrial action. The unions are demanding better welfare packages, more funds to run the universities, a stop to the indiscriminate setting up of new universities, the discontinuation of the use of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, as the payment platform in the university system among others.
“ADC is aware that series of meetings have held between the government and the unions, but noted that so far nothing tangible has come out of those meetings. This is a clear indictment of the present administration, the APC as a party and the two ruling parties that dominate the national assembly.
“As a result of such colossus leadership failure, some of our young men and females have been forced into negatives and crimes.”
Nwosu maintained that the ASUU strike represents the degeneration of values and leadership, urging the federal government to as a matter of urgent concern “declare a state of emergency on the matter and find a lasting and permanent solution to the ASUU Strike, and ensure our students go back to school at all cost within a fortnight. We are playing with the future of a whole generation and by extension our whole future.
“The Federal Government should look for money, just as it looked for money to execute elections, build rails from Nigeria to Niger, to sort out ASUU. Human development comes before infrastructural development.”